Nadeen Ibrahim migrated from the Palestinian Territory with her family when she was seven months old, and moved to Colorado in 1997. She was raised in Wiggins, Colorado – a northeastern rural community of less than 1000 individuals. She recently graduated from the University of Colorado Denver, and will begin her graduate studies in Public Policy at the University of Oxford in England this Fall 2017.
Fluent in Arabic and a community organizer for the Muslim community in Colorado, Nadeen actively advocates for Muslim Americans in Colorado, especially resettled refugees. Working with entities like the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado, Nadeen organizes events and workshops empowering Muslim Americans of their civil rights and personal narratives. She also publishes e-newsletters showcasing the positive engagement of Muslim Americans in their Colorado community through the Colorado Muslim Connection she founded.
She also serves as a commissioner on the Denver Immigrant & Refugee Commission – a team of 20+ commissioners in providing recommendations to the Denver City Mayor on creating a more inclusive, safe environment for Denver’s immigrant and refugee communities – and as an At-large Representative on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Board of Health – a State Governor commissioned board promulgating rules and regulations related to public health.
Nadeen strongly advocates for serving immigrants and refugees in ways that build community through cultural and language preservation and sustainable asset-based community development.
In her talk, Nadeen emphasized that allyship with Muslims is key and that allyship looks different to different communities and even to different members within those communities. It’s important to ask questions rather than to make assumptions and generalizations about how to best serve as an ally and be in solidarity.
- One way to learn more about Muslim life is to read literature that features Muslims. Here is a list of novels to get you started, and here is a list of books by Muslim authors.
- Another way to learn about Muslims is to visit this Facebook page for Colorado Muslims. The page lists events and activities in Colorado.
- There are many good TED Talks about Muslims and Muslim life, including “What It’s Like to be Muslim in America” by Dalia Mogahed, “What My Religion Really Says about Women” by Alaa Murabit, and “The Beauty and Diversity of Muslim Life” by Bassam Tariq. A playlist of ten TED Talks that address misconceptions about Muslims is here.
- The Denver Islamic Society hold regular open houses for the community.
- Want to pronounce “Muslim” correctly? It’s /moo slim/, not /muz lim/. Read more here.
- Listen to the Colorado Public Radio series “Breaking Bread” story in which a Muslim couple who voted for Clinton talk with a Christian woman who voted for Trump.
Questions to continue the discussion:
- What questions do you still have about Muslims?
- What is one small step you can take in your everyday life to correct misperceptions among your friends, family, neighbors, and/or co-workers about Muslims?
- After reflecting on Nadeen’s talk and/or exploring some of the resources in the list above: What are you most surprised to learn about Muslims?
- What are some ways you could support a Muslim target of bullying or discrimination?
Please continue the conversation, in real life and/or below!